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The International Advocacy and Research Forum for Surrogacy and LGBT Parenting

The Men Having Babies conferences focus on providing guidance to prospective parents, but they are also a meeting place for many committed surrogacy and gay parenting supporters, including parents, surrogates, researchers, professionals, and policymakers. Indeed, there are no other such opportunities throughout the year where all of these constituencies meet. As the leading resource in surrogacy and LGBT parenting, MHB has been approached over time by community leaders, surrogates and academicians with requests for collaborations and information sharing. The International Advocacy and Research Forums for Surrogacy and LGBT Parenting were created in response to these requests, and are held at several of our major conferences worldwide.
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Who should attend these Forums?

The Advocacy and Research Forum is open to anyone who is interested in benefitting from and / or contributing to an ongoing discussion of the social, ethical, legal and empirical aspects of surrogacy and LGBT parenting. Stakeholders include community activists, researchers, students, surrogates, professionals, legislators, journalists and others. Most of the Forum’s sessions take place concurrent to the guidance sessions of our conferences, and as such they are not designed for intended parents (although they will be free to attend if so desire).

What do the Forums offer?

The Advocacy and Research Forum offers opportunities for formal and facilitated discussions about topics and developments relevant to parenting through surrogacy and / or by LGBT parents.

The topics covered in the Forums include the following:
  • Academic research currently published, ongoing and suggested.
  • Legislative developments related to surrogacy (such as in NY, Netherlands, Canada and UK).
  • Underlying ethical issues that manifest in the legal and social debates about surrogacy, including compensation, the timing and scope of consent, protections against exploitation, etc.
  • Ongoing international efforts to regulate or issue guidelines on surrogacy (such as by the Hague Conference and the UN’s Special Rapporteur).
  • Initiatives to promote ethical surrogacy practices and wider access to these options, including:
The format includes the following:
  • An opening session on the Friday afternoon (the day before the general conference starts) for all Forum attendees with presentations about general trends and developments in surrogacy legislation, research and social discourse.
  • A welcome reception follows the opening session on Friday evening.
  • Several meetings on the morning and early afternoon of Saturday of the conference. The meeting will be dedicated to either advocacy or research issues, but open to all Forum attendees.
  • Forum attendees will be eligible for coffee breaks, lunch and a happy hour on Saturday.
  • Forum attendees are be invited to join the general conference’s afternoon session on ethical, social and psychological aspect of surrogacy (times vary per conference):
    • Personal stories panel (typically 5:30pm)
    • A mindful look at surrogacy (typically 6:30pm)
    • The MHB Teen Panel (typically 7:30pm)
  • Additional meeting / working groups on the Sunday of the conference, including discussions or work on new / ongoing joint initiatives.

How to register?

Currently we have Advocacy and Research Forums planned during our conferences in Brussels, New York, San Francisco and Taipei. Admission to the Friday opening session only is free, but requires RSVP. There is a small fee for registration for the entire weekend, and in addition to participation at the sessions mentioned above you will be eligible for several coffee breaks, receptions and a lunch on Saturday. To register, go to the links below, or directly from the respective registration pages of each conference. Please choose from one of these options in the first question:
  • If relevant, choose “Researcher / community advocate / student / surrogate - interested in the Advocacy and Research Forum”.
  • Choose “Reporter / Media” if applicable, and you will have access to the Forum.
  • Choose “Professional in a relevant field” if you are a lawyer, agency owner, work for an IVF clinic or other surrogacy provider. You will have access to both the conference and the Forum.
  • Prospective parents or conference exhibitors that are already attending the conference need not register twice. Just use the last field (Comments / questions) to indicate “Interested in the Advocacy and Research Forum”.

Upcoming Forums

November 5, 2021 - European Surrogacy Families - Stigma and Stereotypes / MHB's Advocacy and Research Forum

Join MHB and leading industry professionals as we discuss the stereotypes and stigmas that face European families that are built through surrogacy and the children born through surrogacy. Anyone who has already registered for Brussels Conference on November 6-7 does not need to register again for this event. All others are invited to register at no cost, subject to our public health guidelines (see below).  

Where: The Hotel, Boulevard de Waterloo 38, 1000 Brussels, Belgium

When: November 5th from 16:00-18:00pm (check in starts at 15:30)


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Past Forums